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hostile attitude to one of friendliness towards Poland." The National
Committee of Americans of Polish Descent, representing 6,000,000
Americans of Polish extraction,, stated that " no Polish Government can
accept the Russian offer, which amounts to the suicide of the Polish
The Soviet Declaration was far from c conciliatory.'
" It is devised/' wrote the Editor of the Nineteenth Century and After,
" to accentuate the conflict, to increase the fearful pressure to which Poland
has so long been subjected and force her to accept terms incomparably
harsher than any terms which Great Britain and the U.S.A. would think of
imposing on a defeated Germany. The terms, if accepted, would mean
the end of Polish independence.
" The Russian Declaration is not mere propaganda, though it contains
propaganda. It is not a mere statement of policy. It is a formidable
political action, undertaken by one of the most formidable of Great Powers.
" The conflict between Russia and Poland does not concern the ' Curzon
Line '; it does not really concern the frontiers of Poland or her demographic
" The questions are not:
cc Shall her eastern border be shifted westward ? Shall she lose her
eastern territories, or, losing them, acquire in their place western territories
at the expense of Germany ?
" Beyond this, there is another question! Shall Europe exist ?—the
Europe we have known and hope to know again, the Europe which alone
gives the war any meaning, a Europe that is a balanced and integral whole,
the Europe of systems and ideas, varied and yet related, the Europe of many
sovereign States, big and small, the Europe that is so much more than a
geographical expression; Europe, the stronghold of the Greeco-Roman
and Christian heritage ? That is the question.
ce Without Poland there can be no such Europe. That is why, in Sep-
tember, 1939, England and the Empire went to war. The threat to Polish
independence was a threat to Europe—and, therefore, to Great Britain and
the Empire. The threat to Polish independence is still a threat to Europe
no matter whence it comes.
" Poland is an ally—the only ally that remained true when Great Britain
stood alone, an ally whose fate is under the protection of successive pledges
made by Great Britain. But the issue, now, is bigger than the future of
Poland—it is bigger than the future of Russia, the future of Germany, the
future of Great Britain. The issue is the future of Europe, that is why all
Europe is looking on."
The comments on Russia's reply were more or less uniform in Britain,
The official British opinion was expressed by The Times on January 12 :—
" The first British official response after a first reading may be summarised
in this manner:—whole parts of the Soviet statement—like parts of the
Polish Government's statement of last week—are of a controversial nature;
it gives, in substance, the most important contribution to the study, it may
be hoped, the ultimate settlement, of the difficult problems to which it
relates/' The Times began a campaign urging the acceptance of this
*Curzon Line/ while the British Press generally considered this *Line* as
* fair,9 and expressed the hope that, if the Polish reply would be admissible
the Polish-Russian dispute might be settled. The term c emigre * Govern-